Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Farseekers – Isobelle Carmody

The Farseekers is the second book in The Obernewtyn Chronicles, the successful series by the Australian author Isobelle Carmody. It continues the story of Elspeth Gordie and the fate of the inhabitants of Obernewtyn. Now run by the Misfits that had been taken there to be cured of their curious mental abilities, Elspeth now sees Obernewtyn as a haven. She and her fellow Misfits have extraordinary powers of premonition and mental communication. Now their home is under threat and Elspeth must set out on a journey with a small group of companions to fulfil three very different tasks. A premonition has warned that if any one of these tasks is not completed before winter then Obernewtyn will fall. The team must rescue a Misfit near a far-off town, collect books from an ancient library in the same area and send a spy to infiltrate the Council headquarters in the capital of the country.  The journey will be fraught with difficulties as Misfits are not accepted by the Council, the rulers of the land, and so they cannot allow their true identity to be revealed.

Elspeth is further troubled by a strange premonition made through the cat Maruman, an old companion of hers. When Elspeth enters Maruman’s mind a strange voice tells her that she must destroy the machines that caused the holocaust in the world many generations previously. It tells her that she must be ready when the time comes to go on this journey. The prediction is enigmatic and she pushes it to the back of her mind while she travels. The journey throws up difficulties, many of which are unexpected and leads to new friends and allies. Ever aware of the time constraints on their journey, Elspeth and her companions must use every power at their disposal to make it a success.
The Farseekers is a powerful book and a worthy successor to Obernewtyn, the first book in the series. Carmody reveals more of Elspeth’s world and the oppressive system that governs it. It is a book about fighting for freedom and equality for all and the bravery of the people who fight for it. It also shows the corrupting influence that power has on people and how the world needs people who are able to resist this. Carmody has created a wonderful series and I eagerly await the publication of the remaining books on this side of the world! Suitable for anyone aged 12 and over, The Farseekers will be available in Ireland in August.

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